Trends 2022: Advertising experts tell us what to expect from 2022
Advertising leaders weigh in on trends and themes they feel will dominate the media buying and selling landscape in 2022

Trends 2022: Advertising experts tell us what to expect from 2022

Advertising leaders weigh in on trends and themes they feel will dominate the media buying and selling landscape in 2022
  • As we come to the end of another challenging year, we look forward to next with with a lot of hope.
  • In our attempt to crystal-gaze into what 2022 has in store for the advertising and media business, we spoke to a few experts from the industry.
  • In today's feature, Rana Barua, Group CEO, Havas Group India, Kartik Sharma, Group CEO, Omnicom Media Group - India, Premjeet Sodhi, Chief Strategy Officer, Wavemaker India, Sujata Dwibedy, Group Trading Director, Amplifi India, dentsu weigh in on trends and themes they feel will dominate the media buying and selling landscape in 2022.
When the pandemic hit us in 2020, most organizations around the world were unprepared for the unprecedented event. While it took everybody by surprise, it brought about a lot of changes to the entire ecosystem. It also brought with it some important lessons. Leaders told us about the importance of agility, collaboration, flexibility and empathy.

While the second wave this year hit the country harder than the first, businesses took the lessons they learnt from last year seriously, ensuring they were better equipped to deal with the impact of the pandemic on business. While the months of April and May this year were especially difficult for us and for businesses across India, the bounce-back has been a little quicker this time around, with most organizations already on a road to recovery.

In the advertising world, the year was driven by digital media, specifically by social, search as well as video. GroupM’s recently released global end-of-year forecast revealed that there was a much faster expansion in the advertising industry than previously anticipated, driven primarily by growth in the US, UK, and China. The report also predicted that India, the UK, Brazil, Canada, Japan and China could grow between 6-8% annually, on average. Meanwhile, Magna in its report said Indian ad spends witnessed a 14% growth in 2021 and that it will grow by 14.5% in 2022.

So, as this year comes to an end and we enter another year with hope, we spoke to leaders from advertising to understand what the year 2022 has in store for us and here is what they had to say:

Rana Barua, Group CEO, Havas Group India

Trends 2022: Advertising experts tell us what to expect from 2022

Be Relevant, Be Meaningful

2021 was all about a steady recovery. And at Havas Group India, 3 things helped us to sustain the comeback – integration & collaboration of our companies and over 1000 people, a sharply defined and relevant MX & CX product strategy, and our many industry-first meaningful initiatives. We realised among all innovations, we needed to become even more flexible and relevant at the core. Marketers expect agencies to be genuine partners and dynamic about consumer understanding so that they can plan smarter.

Our global Meaningful Brand study reveals if 75% of global brands disappear, no one would care. This is a reality that every marketer will face. The number of brands people used in the pre and the post covid world are not the same. So, driving relevance, being honest and creating meaningful brands will become even more critical.

Understanding the Consumer Experience journey and dovetailing into a sharp meaningful Media Experience will be at the core of any integrated brand planning. And with the use of smart data and analytics the same will only become richer and sharper. And finally, meaningful storytelling (short, byte or long) that connects with the consumer, will make the brands relevant and an integral part of the journey.

Kartik Sharma, Group CEO, Omnicom Media Group - India

Trends 2022: Advertising experts tell us what to expect from 2022

2022: Back to good old creativity, emotive storytelling

Data Privacy has been a highlight of the industry for a while now. The pandemic has brought to the fore new challenges of living in the digital age. And with that, having a foundational understanding of consumer privacy concerns and data protection is paramount. Data and technology are the new-age gold for the private sector across the globe. This bestows greater responsibility on leaders using it. Accountability for every concerned stakeholder and their personally identifiable information needs to be benchmarked.

On the heels of data privacy bills being tabled in countries across the world, the time is nigh for companies to step up their guardrails on data and consumer privacy. Even with Google extending their deprecation timeline for third-party cookies to late 2023, the industry needs to start testing ways to reach and engage consumers across the open internet in a non-invasive manner.

The big idea of 2022 is the one that'll be ideated on the back of good old creativity, emotive storytelling that humanizes brands - enabled by technology, and of course, one that respects the privacy of its audiences.

Premjeet Sodhi, Chief Strategy Officer, Wavemaker India

Trends 2022: Advertising experts tell us what to expect from 2022

Measurement of ROI as the True-North for 2022

We can’t talk enough of the changes that brands have experienced during the past Covid-affected years. Many of these changes are now at a tipping point and we will see change only accelerate in 2022.

Metaverse is the flavour of the season and probably will have the highest share of conversations. However, the real work will be in the transformative shifts towards Ecom, D2C, Social Commerce and in managing media fragmentation. In this sea of ‘new’ in 2022, agencies will be at the helm working hand-in-hand with clients to work through the clutter of partners, formats, data providers, enrichment agencies and various other intermediaries for delivering on these initiatives.

Novelty, excitement, and innovations will be aplenty but, objective measurement is what will be amiss. In such a scenario - measurement will be the most important theme for 2022. Each platform comes with its own activity metrics but, we need to bring in benchmarking for best practices, comparability across platforms & impact on business.

Marketers, figuratively speaking are at the cross-roads and they need a Compass to guide their media investment decisions. The marketers do not need to go after every new-shining media option but need to evaluate everything with ROI as the True-North.

2022 should be the year to define a clear measurement framework that will define expectations from each media intervention. It will lay-down the activity or output measures, the intermediate measures of behaviour/mindset and the business measures of footfalls/downloads/ sales/ subscriptions, etc. This needs both immediate campaign level measurements as well as broader attribution studies to derive the business impact of media investments.

Outcome based Media Measurement Spends in the Industry are barely a decimal percentage of the media spends – does measurement not deserve more? What cannot be measured, will not be managed.

Sujata Dwibedy, Group Trading Director, Amplifi India, dentsu

Trends 2022: Advertising experts tell us what to expect from 2022

The year of ecommerce growth

2022 will be a sunrise year and we will see many new trends. However, we will definitely see further growth in double digits in the e-commerce space. We have already seen unprecedented growth in not only the retail e-commerce space but also many other aspects of e-commerce. The strength of smartphones and tablets is on a rise, which is also leading to the surge in e-commerce adoption, in addition to the softer aspects such as convenience and social distancing preferences post covid.

If we were to contemplate on what could be working within the e-commerce ecosystem, here are a few pointers on what we may see. Firstly, customer’s satisfaction lies in the little things. So, we may see the ease of search leading to an increase in Voice Search. Diversity of payment methods, other than payment by credit card, bank transfer, mobile wallets, and others. There is a rising trend to make purchases in instalments too. We may see a surge in multichannel customer support. This will enable customers to reach the service center at any time and anywhere if they were to communicate. AI-assisted cross-selling and up-selling within seamless online purchases will be more preferred for personalised marketing and products. We have seen growth from Tier II towns and even the smaller markets. Growth in the metros comes from multiple platforms including D2Cs. With new e-commerce preferences and tools, this is likely to accelerate in the coming years.